[By George Horsfield and probably Agnes Conway]
G. H. No work to-day, spent the morning on Ez Zantour making notes, the afternoon on S. end of El Habis visiting the By-Zantine [sic] fort and examining the site lying below – which I discover has at some time been tilled, the evidence being the piles of stones forming rough walls enclosing fields – very much as is found on other sites in T.J. This has happened after the desertion of the site.
A.E.C. went to Dalman’s El Habis Sanctuary No. 1 with Dr. Nielsen, and both agreed that it was nothing but a quarry. It is certainly far earlier than Al Najar, as the markings have worn away; It was perhaps Nabataean and furnished the stone for the old houses on El Habis and possibly the Castle, which Mr. Horsfield thinks at every period must have been the main citadel of Petra – the present ruins he thinks Byzantine or pre-Byzantine. A.E.C. went on to the theatre district to examine the house and tombs, and found tombs of every internal arrangement mixed up together and what seemed like a magnificent house and cistern underground in the middle of them. The sandstone is so weathered that the late types of facades look extremely primitive. In the afternoon she went to the tomb area above the Circassian camp again, and feels it to be far earlier than the Theatre district, even in the sections that face E. and are not weathered. She went to the head of the Wady where the 2 Ma’aiseras meet and thinks that very early caves and tombs may be silted up there.
Reference: Horsfield, G. 1929 [and probably Conway A] 1929 (transcribed by A. Thornton). Petra Exploration Fund Diary. "Business Papers to be Kept", Horsfield Collection Box 8, UCL Institute of Archaeology, 5 April: 23-24.
[possibly by both George Horsfield and Agnes Conway]
The Tombs south of El Habis have all petered out without giving any evidence different to that already obtained, nor producing anything in the way of pottery that was not previously known and explored – nor was there the faintest evidence of cremations. The one thing not previously found was a collection of alabaster pots – all in fragments – there seem to be four in all – large and small.
The North Tomb was finished clearing at the end of the working day – there are three graves and all unopened. Pottery has been found in the Chamber of the same character as previously known – but with one or two fresh shapes. The works are now closed down and will allow of time to consider them in their different evidences. The main feeling is disappointment at the lack of variety and their comparative modernity. Every effort has been made to find the oldest and deepest sites – the same with the tombs and graves. The evidence has been the same in all cases and seems conclusive that the civilization was of Mediterranean origin – except for the “Assyrian” Pylon Tombs. Taking Medain Salih as the fixed chronological starting point then Petra is not older – but must have existed and flourished under the same trade and cultural impulse – which dies towards the end of the first century at M.S. but was diverted in the case of Petra to being intermediary between N. & S. This then was the flourishing period – the 2nd century, which filled Provincia Arabia with cities and completed the Graeco-Romanization of Petra in the monuments of Hadrian.
Reference: [unsigned, possibly Horsfield, G. and Conway, A.] 1929 (transcribed by A. Thornton). Petra Exploration Fund Diary. "Business Papers to be Kept", Horsfield Collection Box 8, UCL Institute of Archaeology, 7 May: 69-71.